Another Quarter of Increased Sales for Organic Fresh Produce

Brian GermanIndustry, Organic

Organic fresh produce continues to make strides with another quarter of increased sales. According to the latest Organic Produce Performance Report released by Category Partners and the Organic Produce Network (OPN), sales reached more than $2.3 billion in the first quarter of 2022. Comparing the first 13 weeks of Q1, 2022 with the same period last year, sales increased 3.9 percent. Even with the improvement in dollar sales, overall volume declined for the first time in a while, though only falling by less than one percent.


“Overall volumes remain elevated from Q1 2019, before the Covid pandemic drove double-digit sales and volume gains at retail,” Category Partners CEO Tom Barnes said in a news release. “We believe the second quarter of this year will tell a similar story as we move further away from 2020 when the pandemic shuttered most foodservice, causing supermarket sales to soar.”

Conventional produce experienced similar but more extreme trends in volume and sales value. Dollar sales of conventional produce increased 7.3 percent, while volume fell by nearly three percent. Differences and increases in sales value have been largely impacted by the overall trend of increasing food prices in general. The average price of conventional produce increased by 10.4 percent during the first quarter. In contrast, the average price of organic fresh produce increased by less than five percent. 

The report points out that organic produce could be considered less price-sensitive, as volume has remained strong despite prices rising. OPN CEO Matt Seeley said the disparities in price increases between organic and conventional create further opportunity for the organic sector. “There remains room for growth of organic fresh produce as long as suppliers remain aware of not only the rising costs of organic produce but also the opportunity presented by a significantly larger increase in conventional produce prices,” Seeley noted.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West